Disinfo: Western politicians did not support the German version of Navalny’s poisoning by Novichok

Summary

The statements of the German side that Alexei Navalny was allegedly poisoned by Novichok caused bewilderment among Western politicians.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Navalny poisoning.

Similar narrative as in the case of Skripal, based on conspiracies, denials and fabrication in order to cover up Russia's responsibility. Russian propaganda has long been pursuing the claims that the Skripal case was made up to justify sanctions against Russia and was an example of Russophobia.

In fact, a number of western leaders condemned the poisoning of Alexey Navalny. NATO and the European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted "I was informed by Chancellor Merkel that Russian opposition leader Navalny was attacked with a nerve agent, in his own country. This is a despicable and cowardly act - once again. Perpetrators need to be brought to justice."

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister François Philippe Champagne said that his country "is deeply troubled by new reports from experts in Germany who concluded that Alexei Navalny, a prominent political opposition figure in Russia, was poisoned by a nerve agent of the Novichok group". He emphasized that "the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and unacceptable."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said "I want to condemn in the strongest terms the shocking and irresponsible use of such an agent." Le Drian mentioned that the use of Novichok violated international laws banning chemical weapons.

Find more reactions from Western leaders here.

 

Background:

On August 20 the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said that he was in a coma and that they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred(opens in a new tab) to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital.

On September 3, 2020, the German government published a statement(opens in a new tab) that described how a military laboratory, certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), had found traces of the Novichok nerve agent in samples taken from Navalny. Later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a special briefing. She told(opens in a new tab) reporters that “There is unequivocal proof of the presence of this agent in the samples. It is therefore clear that Alexei Navalny is the victim of a crime.” The German government has briefed(opens in a new tab) its allies in the European Union and NATO and plans to provide information about its findings to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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